NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - After Superstorm Sandy hit, a handful of groups were tasked with creating ways to protect communities in and around New York against future storms. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development launched an innovative design competition called Rebuild by Design.
"The idea was to get the best minds of the world and to bring them to the region, connect to the folks on the ground to really understand what happened during the storm and how we can build back our communities better, so it won't happen again," said Amy Chester, the managing director of Rebuild by Design, which connected design teams with communities around the tristate to develop solutions for the area's complex needs.
"As a result of that nine-month competition, HUD awarded $930 million," Chester said. "And it's now over a billion dollars that are coming to our region to build back better than what was there before."
Several projects are planned from the Jersey Shore to Connecticut. One planned for Lower Manhattan is called the Big U.
"The team proposed an interactive, community-driven berm," Chester said. "A berm is basically a series of different hills that will stop the water from coming in. It will also absorb the water from a rain event."
Sandy hit Hoboken, New Jersey, hard. The risk of storm surge and flash flooding is being addressed in a plan called Resist, Delay, Store, Discharge.
"We want to resist the water from coming in – and that's closing up the different breech points that the water came in during Hurricane Sandy," Chester said. "Store the water is holding the water through creating different infrastructure solutions. Delaying it is making sure that the water is able to be absorbed. And then discharging it is when you're able to clean the water."
Projects are also set up for Staten Island's South Shore, Hunts Point in The Bronx, New Jersey's Meadowlands, and Bridgeport, Connecticut. These extensive projects are currently undergoing engineering and environmental reviews.
Next year, the first project breaks ground in Nassau County on Long Island that will improve water flow with constructed marshes and dikes. The project will also improve water quality and improve ecology.